Monday, 22 May 2017

MPOV: Brokeback Mountain

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.93
Published: October 13, 1997
Author: Annie Proulx
Genre: short story, GLBT romance

Annie Proulx has written some of the most original and brilliant short stories in contemporary literature, and for many readers and reviewers, "Brokeback Mountain" is her masterpiece.
Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they're working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer.

Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that's what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.

The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for Fiction for its publication of "Brokeback Mountain," and the story was included in Prize Stories 1998: The O. Henry Awards. In gorgeous and haunting prose, Proulx limns the difficult, dangerous affair between two cowboys that survives everything but the world's violent intolerance.

The above taken from Goodreads.

I didn't know the movie was adapted from a short story. In fact, I never did finished watching the movie as it was a little yucky for me, too gross to continue watching it! Finally, I was able to read the whole story and now I know the ending LOL! You can read it too, here:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1997/10/13/brokeback-mountain

I was also surprised that it was written by a female author! Annie Proulx at that! It was a simple, honest yet sensitive read. Though it's about 2 gay cowboys, it did felt more feminine at some point. The slang adapted in the story was a little confusing for me but generally it was understandable. Also, it was emotionally engaging thus had me finishing the story within a couple of hours. Well, at least now I know how it ended :-)

Friday, 19 May 2017

CSM: Flea-esta @ Summit USJ Mall

Sholee Sphere will be here this Sunday, 21st May 2017, from 11am to 7pm! Located near the main entrance of the mall, in between the information counter and Old Town White Coffee, new arrivals like handmade Amigurumi keychains will make it's debut! From Pokemon inspired characters to Spirited Away, there's bound to be a little something to your liking!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Spotlight: Books On The Move

I've recently joined this movement, Books On The Move, and I'm proud to be a Book Fairy! For those who didn't know, below is the excerpt:
In support of http://booksonthemoveglobal.com/ and Book Fairies Worldwide, we are a group of book fairies in Malaysia - dropping FREE books in train stations and public places of KL. Our aim is to get people reading! If you like to support the Malaysian movement, sign up here: http://bit.ly/joinbotm . If you're looking to set up this project in your own city email booksonthemoveglobal@gmail.com
Yay! Finally received my stickers!
So in a bid to encourage more people to read, I will be dropping free books at random places in Subang Jaya area! FYI, I do have 5 stickers which means that I have 5 books to drop off! So do follow my Instagram account to know where I'll be dropping it of:
https://www.instagram.com/sholee68/

For more information of this movement or if you want to be a book fairy yourself, you can click on the links below to know more:
https://www.facebook.com/booksonthemoveMY/
https://www.instagram.com/BooksOnTheMove

#BooksOnTheMoveKL #takereadreturn

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

MPOV: Allegiant

My rating: 2/5
IMDb rating: 5.7/10
Released: March 14, 2016
Director: Robert Schwentke
Casts: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort
Category: A 2016 American action adventure, dystopian, science fiction film

Many Chicago citizens run toward the wall, but soldiers under Evelyn (Naomi Watts) are told to shut down the perimeter, and thus, no one is allowed through. Evelyn directs Jack Kang (Daniel Dae Kim) of Candor to hold trials for the Erudite and Dauntless conspirators, in which a number of them become executions, starting with Max (Mekhi Phifer). Evelyn and Johanna (Octavia Spencer) attempt to pressure Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) into taking leadership positions in the new world order but both refuse. After seeing that the hostile situation within the city is only going to get worse, Tris escapes with Four, Caleb (Ansel Elgort), Christina (Zoë Kravitz), Tori (Maggie Q), and Peter (Miles Teller) to journey beyond the wall that encloses Chicago. However, Tori is killed by Edgar (Jonny Weston) in the attempt.

The group is ambushed by Edgar, who is later disabled by an armed group of individuals and airships. The soldiers take the group to the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, a highly advanced city where they learn that years ago the government believed that society's problems were caused by "damaged genes". In an attempt to create a better society, they began to modify people's genes, with disastrous results. The government set up "experiments" in an attempt to repair this mistake, establishing isolated cities across the remains of the United States. The hope is to raise enough genetically pure Divergent individuals to fix the "genetic damage" left in the wake of the Purity War.

Tris and Four are tested by Matthew (Bill Skarsgård) and Nita (Nadia Hilker) to verify and study their Divergence. Tris is shown to be truly Divergent, but Four's genetic structure indicates that his genes are still "damaged". Caleb and Peter are assigned to surveillance teams that monitor Chicago. Matthew then brings Tris to the leader of the Bureau, David (Jeff Daniels). David gives Tris a device that allows her to view her mother's memories, and sees that her mother was rescued and adopted by the Bureau before volunteering to join the Chicago experiment out of dedication to the project. In return for his help in restoring peace to Chicago, Tris agrees to help David, who claims that only the council he reports to have the power to intervene.

The above taken from Wikipedia.

This is the final movie adapted from Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy. I did watched the first, Divergent, and it was the best of the lot. I think I've only watched Insurgent midway as I fell asleep *grinning unabashedly*

So this one was slightly better with more actions that I managed to watch till the end. It was rather slow, lukewarm at times and the ending was predictable. Nothing exciting about the movie, sorry Divergent fans. To be honest, I find that dystopian type of movie is just not my cup of tea thus far.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

MPOV: The Zahir

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.56
Published: July 3, 2006
Author: Paulo Coelho
Translator: Margaret Jull Costa
Genre: spirituality, philosophy, contemporary fiction

The narrator of The Zahir is a bestselling novelist who lives in Paris and enjoys all the privileges money and celebrity bring. His wife of ten years, Esther, is a war correspondent who has disappeared along with a friend, Mikhail, who may or may not be her lover.

Was Esther kidnapped, murdered, or did she simply escape a marriage that left her unfulfilled? The narrator doesn’t have any answers, but he has plenty of questions of his own. Then one day Mikhail finds the narrator and promises to reunite him with his wife. In his attempt to recapture a lost love, the narrator discovers something unexpected about himself.

The above taken from Goodreads.

Love lost, self-discovery, love found... with spiritual guidance and extra-marital affairs... this book had me thinking it's a semi-biography. I can't understand the relationship Esther had with the author as they lived a separate life and can only get together once in a while. When apart, they enjoy their lives individually and even have extra-marital affairs without hurting each other. It sounds modern but in the end they are hurting inside which led to Esther leaving the author suddenly.

All in all, there were a few quotes which I've picked up that reflected the story itself:
All I know is that even though I can live without her, I would still like to see her again, to say what I never said when we were together: I love you more than I love myself.
By knowing myself better, by finding out what had changed and what had provoked this sudden break in a road that had always been marked by joy. 
I saw where I went wrong, I saw where I stopped, I saw the moment when I lost Esther, the moment that the Mexican Indians call the acomodador - "the giving-up point"
Well, in summary, the author has taken his wife for granted and never had time or showed interest in whatever she was doing or going through. He concluded that he has given her the ultimate freedom but in actual fact he has deprived her of his attention and love as a husband. Instead, he has been having discreet affairs with other women. In a relationship, we truly require 2 hands to clap to make it work but Esther has been clapping one sided. So she has left abruptly, leaving breadcrumbs so that her husband finally opened his eyes and realised what has happened. Of course, it took him awhile to realise it and with some spiritual guidance, he found her... but she's pregnant with another man's baby LOL! This I find hilarious... Karma got to him in my opinion!

Okay, sarcasm aside, the plots were more centred on the author, of his affairs, of his actions and beliefs... kinda long winded and finally, discovery of his own true self after letting go of the past. Quite an ego he has plus he still has the time to indulge in women even though he has a missing wife. Well, his actions were not like a man who has lost his wife hence my disillusioned and unappreciative summary above.

It may sound like a hate review but it's not. Perhaps I just don't get it but it has ruffled some feathers hence a slightly better rating for getting me emotionally riled up. After this book, I can safely say that Paulo Coelho's prose is not my cup of tea. Not sure if it's lost in translation or the spirituality of the plots were not in my favour but I was practically flipping through the pages and hoping to reach the last chapter, the conclusion ASAP. I just felt the fillers in the middle were just nonsensical LOL!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Namecard giveaway!

Just trying out my luck here since the blog looks cool and neat enough to entice me plus I never had a professional namecard made before so *fingers crossed*

You can try it out too by clicking on the link below:
http://www.busyratakiyudin.com/2017/05/giveaway-free-name-card-by.html

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Amigurumi: Hearts

Made some HEARTS for Mother's Day! I've gotten the free pattern from:
http://owlishly.typepad.com/owlishly/corazoncitos-amigurumi-hearts-pattern-free.html
I've only made the big and small sized ones, adding on some bells and attached it to a keychain! So cute right?!

What I've used:

  • 100% acrylic yarns
  • Fibrefilling
  • Keychain
  • Bells

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Amigurumi: Susuwatari

I was truly inspired by Amigurumei's Instagram post which you can view it here:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BT8OWxXAJ2N/?taken-by=amigurumei

Though black colour is not one I like using as it's not user-friendly to my eyes, I just had to figure it out and made this in a couple of hours! According to Amigurumei, Susuwatari (literally translated as Travelling Soot) is a character from a Japanese anime, Spirited Away. I've never watched it before but this soot is so cute!
What I've used:

  • 100% acrylic yarn
  • Fibre-fill
  • Plastic eyes
  • Keychain

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